Leeds spent 17 years in consulting, following 15 years in line management, having graduated with an honours degree in Chemistry.
He started in production, then marketing and finally customer marketing with CPC Bestfoods, now Unilever Bestfoods. A general manager position with a division of Associated British Foods followed with responsibility for buying, production, warehousing, distribution and sales. With this broad base of practical experience, he became a partner in a London-based consulting firm, WRPO.
In the course of consulting work, Leeds was involved in training.
He developed content and ran courses in areas including Customer Management, Selling, Negotiation, Finance for Non-Financial Managers and Supply Management. These activities were often linked to consulting projects.
The ‘Our Users’ page lists many clients for whom Leeds has delivered training.
It was evident to Leeds that to achieve faster, better application by participants back on the job, there was a need for people to practice in action the principles, processes and tools. Participants should also be highly engaged with the material to achieve motivation.
This was the origin of the computer-based training simulations that had elements like competition and gaming in them, plus excitement and novelty.
Leeds developed simulations with Jasper Warwick along 2 lines – bespoke simulations requested by clients plus off-the-shelf simulations in areas where different clients have common needs.
A case in point is with one of the world’s largest food companies where 2 bespoke simulations were developed with the global HQ. This company saw existing simulations as too academic, lacking content that covered the practical real-life job content of their people. These simulations were rolled out internationally and are still in use.
Leeds is actively involved on an international basis in training delivery, continuous improvement and updating of training content, customising existing simulations and in inventing new simulations.